In case you missed it from my previous article, the breath is inseparable from the nervous system and, therefore your mood. There is no easier way to change your mood than to use the breath right then and there.
Now, I know that after you read the simple breath exercise I give you to follow, you might discount it and think, “there’s no freaking way this is gonna help that easily!” I’m here to tell you that if you feel that way, it most likely won’t. You can’t be a Negative Nancy about things and then complain that they didn’t work.
How Faith/Belief Plays a Part
You have to have enough faith to take the first step to change your mood and that that step will work, in order for it to have a chance of working. This is true of any healing modality/pursuit. The mind is a very powerful thing and belief/faith can actually heal you (placebo effect anyone?). Often, though, it can take a few times before we can open our minds and hearts to believe that we are powerful enough to heal, or even improve our mood with something so simple as the breath.
Now, most people feel better right after the first try, while others take a little longer (remember what I said above). We’re all different and at different places in our faith journeys. Please, don’t fall into the adversary’s trap of comparing yourself to others that look like they might be in your same situation. Just don’t do it! (I know, I know, easier said than done, but it too gets easier with practice).
So here are the steps for how to change your mood.
Step One: Awareness
At the risk of sounding like an AA meeting, the first step to fixing a problem is admitting that you have one, i.e. you feel you’re getting riled up or frustrated etc at something that happened and you know it’s not helpful to just lash out at your kid, or husband, or co-worker. (also, there are times when you just can’t properly process your emotions right then and there; it’s not a safe space for it – you’re in public, etc.)
As soon as you notice that, acknowledge that you are feeling a certain way and that it’s OK to feel ‘negative’ feelings, you’re not a bad person, you’re just human! No judgement! Just notice that you feel angry/upset/whatever.
Now, you know that you need to change your mood, that you’re not a bad person for feeling this way but, how do you do it?
Step Two: Breath
At the first sign of the negative mood you want to change, take a nice, deep long breath into your rib cage. Expanding it into all directions. Key is to not let it creep up into your shoulders. Relax your shoulders away from your ears. Breathe deeply for a count of three or four. Hold the breath for the same count; exhale for the same count; hold for the same amount. Start all over again. Do this for a minimum of three to four times.
This breath exercise will clear your mind and balance your mood. It is even used by soldiers and cops when they have to engage in life-and-death situations though they call it “tactical breathing.” Whatever you call it, “square breath,” “tactical breath,” or “box breath,” it is super effective in changing your mood from stressful or anxious to clear and balanced.
Enjoy your happy life!
The Joyful Life Blueprint
P.S. Let’s get to know each other. Here’s my story, what’s yours?